Where to Stay in Florence [2018 No Stress Guide]

Florence is a city that oozes art, culture, history and cool around every corner. It is the birthplace of the Renaissance and is one of the most stunning cities in all of Europe.

But navigating the different neighbourhoods and districts can be a challenge… and it’s super hard to save money in this expensive city.

That’s why we wrote this insider’s guide to where to stay in Florence!

Written by our expert travelers, this insider guide shares our favourite neighbourhoods and Florence’s hidden gems. We’ll help erase any fears or doubts you might have and we’ll help you find the perfect neighbourhood for your Italian adventure.

Let’s get to it. Here are our top picks for where to stay in Florence, Italy. Some of them are amazing…

Additional reading – the 17 Best Hotels in Florence and the 15 Best Things to do in Florence

Best Hotels in Florence

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Florence

Where to Stay in Florence

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Florence.

Best Budget Hotel in Florence – San Gallo Palace Hotel

San Gallo Palace Hotel

San Gallo Palace Hotel is the best budget hotel in Florence

Offering four-star elegance at a fraction of the price, San Gallo Palace Hotel is our favourite budget hotel in Florence. Located in San Marco, it is a great link between the Tuscan countryside and Florence city centre. It has stylish and spacious rooms, a modern fitness centre, and on-site bike rental.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Florence – Horto Convento

Horto Convento

Horto Convento is the best mid-range hotel in Florence

Contemporary, grand and conveniently located, Horto Convento in the Santo Spirito/San Frediano neighbourhood is our top recommendation for a mid-range hotel in Florence. This four-star property has comfortable rooms, great minimalist décor and all the amenities necessary for a relaxing stay. Enjoy free wifi and a lush garden right in the heart of Florence.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Florence – Palazzo Vecchietti – Residenza D’Epoca

Palazzo Vecchietti – Residenza D’Epoca

Palazzo Vecchietti – Residenza D’Epoca is the best luxury hotel in Florence

Palazzo Vecchietti – Residenza D’Epoca is an elegant and stylish four-star hotel – and one of our top pick for where to stay in Florence. It has a relaxing Turkish steam bath and rejuvenating massage services. Each room is outfitted with a small kitchen, comfortable beds, and air conditioning and heating.

 

Florence Neighbourhoods Guide

Florence, Italy

Welcome to our ultimate guide of where to stay in Florence, Italy

Florence is a city with a rich history and culture. It’s one of Italy’s crown jewels and a must-visit for anyone interested in art, fashion, food, and architecture.

Covering more than 102 square kilometres, Florence is a relatively small city with plenty to see and do. From admiring the ancient landmarks to sampling the best in Italian foods and wandering the winding cobbled streets, there’s something for travellers of all tastes and ages in this Tuscan city.

It is divided into six distinct districts. Every trip should include a visit to at least two or three neighbourhoods to get a good feel for the city.

The Duomo is the historic city centre and the most famous neighbourhood in Florence. With its iconic landmarks, Renaissance masterpieces, and impressive views who wouldn’t want to stay in this central neighbourhood!

Surrounding Duomo are the neighbourhoods of Santa Maria Novella, San Marco and Santa Croce. Catering to families, hipsters and budget backpackers, these neighbourhoods offer visitors an authentic slice of Tuscan life. Enjoy the amazing sight, delicious dishes and relaxed atmospheres in any of these Florentine districts.

Across the river are Santo Spirito and San Frediano. These neighbouring ‘hoods combine to form one of the coolest regions in the city. With trendy restaurants, cool clubs, hip bars and stylish boutiques, this district is where you should stay if you want to see and be seen.

Stil not sure where to stay in Florence? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Florence’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Now let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighbourhoods in Florence. Each neighbourhood has it’s own flavour and flare and is a little different to the last, so be sure to check out which is right for you!

Neighborhood #1 - Duomo

(Where to stay in Florence the first time)

Duomo, Florence

Duomo is our pick for where to stay in Florence on your first time

Duomo is the historic centre of the city. It the best neighbourhood to stay in Florence if you’re visiting for the first time thanks to the Renaissance masterpieces and awesome architecture that dominate its streets and skyline.

The most famous landmark in Florence is the grand and exquisite Duomo di Firenze. Built between the 13th and 15th centuries, this beautiful and ornate cathedral is one of the largest churches in the world. It features intricate details, colourful mosaics and priceless historic frescos.

Hundreds flock to the Duomo each day to explore it’s interior and to climb the 464 steps to the top of the dome to take in panoramic views of Florence.

But there’s more to Duomo than the Cathedral. This neighbourhood is exciting and full of life because of the colourful and entertaining artists and performers, fragrant bakeries and charming cafes that line its winding streets.

Take a stroll through Duomo and get lost in the history and eternal beauty of this amazing Tuscan city.

Things to See and Do in Duomo

  • Take in the impressive and intricate Duomo di Firenze, also known as the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore.
  • Visit the Museo Nazionale del Bargello to see an outstanding collection of Italian Renaissance art and sculptures.
  • Dine on delicious, fresh and authentic pizza at Gustarium.
  • Stand at the centre of the Piazza del Duomo, the heart of Florence, where you can admire the Duomo di Firenze, Giotto’s Bell Tower and the Baptistery of San Giovanni Battista.
  • Enjoy great food and a delightful atmosphere at L’ Girone de’ Ghiotti, where the portions are big and the taste won’t disappoint!
  • Climb to the top of Giotto’s Bell Tower, a slender structure that stands nearly 90 meters above the city.

Where to Stay in Duomo

Best Budget Hotel in Duomo – Hotel Perseo

Hotel Perseo

Hotel Perseo is the best budget hotel in Duomo

Hotel Perseo is a delightful three-star hotel located in the centre of Florence. It is close to the main tourist attractions, the shopping district and a great variety of restaurants.

Rooms have private bathrooms, cable/satellite channels, and a number of luxurious amenities. There is an on-site bar and a daily breakfast is also available.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Duomo – Be-ONE Art and Luxury Home

Be-ONE Art and Luxury Home

Be-ONE Art and Luxury Home is the best mid-range hotel in Duomo

A great location, charming décor and modern amenities are just a few of the reasons Be-ONE Art and Luxury Home is one of our top picks for where to stay in Duomo. The rooms are spacious and comfortable and each is outfitted with a mini-bar and free internet access.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Duomo – Hotel Spadai

Hotel Spadai

Hotel Spadai is the best luxury hotel in Duomo

This four-star hotel is situated right in the heart of the city. It is within walking distance of the Duomo, Uffizi Gallery and a number of great restaurants and bars. Stylishly decorated, the rooms are comfortable, spacious and come with all the essentials for a relaxing stay.

 

Neighborhood #2 - San Marco

(Where to stay in Florence on a budget)

San Marco, Florence

San Marco is our pick for where to stay in Florence on a budget

San Marco is a neighbourhood full of surprises. Located next to the Duomo neighbourhood, this downtown district is the perfect bridge between historic and modern Florence. It is a short walk to the city’s top attractions as well as its most happening bars.

Located northeast of Duomo, San Marco is where you will find a great variety of budget accommodation options. From backpacker hostels to boutique hotels, this well-connected neighbourhood has plenty of options to meet all travel styles and budgets.

Thanks to a continuous flow of backpacking travellers and a large student population, San Marco is a young, friendly and vibrant neighbourhood. It has a great variety of restaurants and bars, and fun and festivities are guaranteed almost every night of the week.

Things to See and Do in San Marco

  • See the largest collection of sacred art at the Museo di San Marco, including works by Mariotto Albertinelli and Giovanni Antonio Sogliani.
  • Browse some of the most beautiful works of art in Florence at the Museo Opificio Delle Pietre Dure.
  • Enjoy an afternoon of good food and great people watching at quaint Un Caffe. Make sure to add one of their amazing paninis to your order to a delicious and filling lunch!
  • Grab a slice of extraordinary pizza at Pulcinella Pizzaiolo.
  • Visit Icche Tu Mangi for good Italian food at great prices!
  • Coffee, cakes, antipasti – oh my! Accademia Café is the perfect stop for a relaxing afternoon coffee and snack break.
  • Cap off a day of sightseeing at Divino Wine Bar Café and sample a great variety of local and international wines.

Where to Stay in San Marco

Best Budget Hotel in San Marco – San Gallo Palace Hotel

San Gallo Palace Hotel

San Gallo Palace Hotel is the best budget hotel in San Marco

Offering four-star elegance at a fraction of the price, San Gallo Palace Hotel is our top recommendation for where to stay in San Marco. It has stylish and spacious rooms, a modern fitness centre, and on-site bike rental. Relax in the cosy lounge bar or charming in-house restaurant.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in San Marco – Firenze Number Nine Wellness Hotel

Firenze Number Nine Wellness Hotel

Firenze Number Nine Wellness Hotel is the best mid-range hotel in San Marco

Firenze Number Nine Wellness Hotel is located in the Tuscany Wine Region. A short distance from Florence city centre, this hotel is close to restaurants, bars, and the city’s top sights. It has a sauna, steam baths, and a cosy lounge bar. Guests can even rent bicycles without leaving the property!

 

Best Luxury Hotel in San Marco – Four Seasons Hotel Firenze

Four Seasons Hotel Firenze

Four Seasons Hotel Firenze is the best luxury hotel in San Marco

Rest, relax and recharge after a day on the town at the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze. This five-star property set in San Marco is close to Florence’s top tourist attractions as well as the Tuscany Wine Region. It has a luxury spa, a sun-soaked terrace, an outdoor pool and a hip on-site bar.

 

Neighborhood #3 - Santo Spirito/San Frediano

(Best area to stay in Florence for nightlife)

Santo Spirito/San Frediano

Santo Spirito/San Frediano is our pick for best area to stay in Florence for nightlife. Photo credits: Flickr

Santo Spirito/San Frediano is a casual and creative area located on the other side of the Arno River. Across from Duomo, these twin neighbourhoods are well-connected throughout Florence and are a short walk to the city’s top tourist attractions.

Santo Spirito/San Frediano is home to architectural masterpieces like the Bianca Cappello House, Fontana dello Sprone and Sant Maria della Carmine. Taking a stroll through Santo/Spirito/San Frediano is a feast for both the eyes and the soul.

Although enjoyable by day, Santo Spirito/San Frediano is a neighbourhood that really comes alive at night! After dark, tourists and locals alike flock to the area and fill streets and squares to enjoy the many bars, restaurants and clubs that call this district home.

Whether you want to dance until dawn or enjoy a casual glass of wine, Santo Spirito/San Frediano is the neighbourhood for you!

Things to See and Do in Santo Spirito/San Frediano

  • Sample a large selection of artisan and craft beers from around the world at Archea Brewery.
  • Lay a good foundation for a night on the town at Trattoria Pandemonio di Casa Brogi.
  • Dance to live rock music every night of the week at NOF Club.
  • See the stunning frescos by Masaccio and Masolino at the Cappella Brancacci.
  • Explore the Piazza Santo Spirito, the heart of the neighbourhood that is home to a charming local market, antique fair, great restaurants, and hip bars.
  • Grab a slice, either pre- or post-bar at Fermento 1889.
  • Sip on an aperitivo and enjoy free snacks at cosy and quaint Volume.
  • Enjoy a mysterious and stylish night out at Rasputin, a hard to find speakeasy that’s worth the search.

Where to Stay in Santo Spirito/San Frediano

Best Budget Hotel in Santo Spirito/San Frediano – Hotel Palazzo Guadagni

Hotel Palazzo Guadagni

Hotel Palazzo Guadagni is the best budget hotel in Santo Spirito/San Frediano

This three-star hotel is a great base for your time in Santo Spirito. Located close to the city’s best bars, it’s also a short walk to Florence’s top tourist attractions and landmarks. The rooms are charming and spacious, and the hotel has a rooftop terrace, free wifi, and essential amenities.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Santo Spirito/San Frediano – Horto Convento

Horto Convento

Horto Convento is the best mid-range hotel in Santo Spirito/San Frediano

Modern, spacious and conveniently located, Horto Convento is our recommendation for where to stay in Santo Spirito. This four-star hotel has comfortable rooms, great minimalist décor and all the amenities necessary for a relaxing stay. Enjoy free wifi and a lush garden right in the heart of Florence.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Santo Spirito/San Frediano – Hotel Lungarno

Hotel Lungarno

Hotel Lungarno is the best luxury hotel in Santo Spirito/San Frediano

Enjoy style, luxury and stunning views at the Hotel Lungarno in Santo Spirito.

Located at the heart of the neighbourhood, this four-star hotel is close to Florence’s main tourist attractions as well as shopping, restaurants, museums and more. It has an in-house restaurant, a charming lounge bar, and a number of excellent amenities.

 

Neighborhood #4 - Santa Croce

(Coolest place to stay in Florence)

Santa Croce, Florence

Santa Croce is our pick for the coolest place to stay in Florence

Santa Croce is easily the coolest neighbourhood in Florence. Located close to the heart of the city, this eclectic district is still far enough away that it sits on the fringe and maintains it’s authentic charms.

A hub for the hip, young and fashionable, Santa Croce is where you’ll find locals sipping cocktails any night of the week. It has a great selection of restaurants and cafes, and is packed with bars and clubs perfect for people who want to have fun!

Santa Croce is also home to the interesting and incredibly fun to explore Sant’Ambrogio market. A daily indoor/outdoor market housed in one of the oldest religious buildings in the city, Sant’Ambrogio market is where you can find everything from local produce and fresh baked good, to quality fashion and one-of-a-kind jewelry.

There’s always something fun to do in lively and vibrant Santa Croce.

Things to See and Do in Santa Croce

  • See the richest medieval church in Florence, the Basilica di Santa Croce.
  • Browse the stalls and merchants at the Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio, the perfect place to pick up a souvenir from your travels.
  • Grab a seat and spend an afternoon people watching in the bustling Piazza Santa Croce.
  • Explore the Museo dell’Opera di Santa Croce, an impressive Gothic church that houses the remains of many famous Europeans, including Michelangelo and Galileo.
  • Rent Vespas and tour the neighbourhood – and city – on two wheels.
  • Sip and sample more than 100 local and international beers at Beer House Club.
  • Enjoy craft cocktails and great jazz at Bitter Bar.
  • Dine on delicious dishes and Italian fare at Adagio.
  • Tantalize your taste buds at Ristorante Sant’Ambrogio.

Where to Stay in Santa Croce

Best Budget Hotel in Santa Croce – Santa Croce

Santa Croce

Santa Croce is the best budget hotel in Santa Croce

This recently refurbished hotel is close to all of Florence’s hotspots. It is a short walk to the Cathedral, the Ponte Vecchio, and a great variety of bars, restaurants, and cafes. It has a charming on-site bar, a small café, and a helpful and knowledgeable staff.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Santa Croce – Hotel Degli Orafi

Hotel Degli Orafi

Hotel Degli Orafi is the best mid-range hotel in Santa Croce

Hotel Degli Orafi is a charming and authentic hotel in the heart of Santa Croce. It’s located close to the Duomo and is an ideal base for exploring Tuscany’s Wine Region. This elegant four-star hotel has a great rooftop terrace, free wifi, and a welcoming and relaxing library.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Santa Croce – Hotel Renaissance Florence

Hotel Renaissance Florence

Hotel Renaissance Florence is the best luxury hotel in Santa Croce

A great location, wonderful staff, and a delicious on-site restaurant are just a few of the reasons guests love Hotel Renaissance Florence.

A short walk to the centre of the city, this hotel is close to great food, interesting attractions, and the city’s most vibrant sights. It has a laundry service, free wifi, and a convenient in-house tour desk.

 

Neighborhood #5 - Santa Maria Novella

(Best neighbourhood in Florence for families)

Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Santa Maria Novella is our pick for best neighbourhood in Florence for families

Santa Maria Novella is a charming and attractive neighbourhood located outside the city centre. It is where grand buildings and massive parks sit amongst traditional restaurants and delightful attractions. And, it is our top recommendation for where to stay in Florence for families.

Home to the city’s main train station, Santa Maria Novella is one of the most well-connected neighbourhoods in the city. Here you can also easily hop on a bus or train and explore some of the towns and villages that dot the Tuscan countryside.

If you’d prefer to stay within the city limits, there’s plenty to see and do in Santa Maria Novella. From admiring the amazing architecture to relaxing in the park, this Florence district is packed with activities that will charm and delight travellers of all ages.

Things to See and Do in Santa Maria Novella

  • Bask in the hustle and bustle of Florence at the centre of Piazza Santa Maria Novella.
  • See the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, a beautiful cathedral that dates back to the 13th century.
  • Enjoy large portions of mouthwatering dishes at Ristorante Braceria Santa Maria Novella. Carnivores definitely can’t leave the city without trying their famous steak!
  • Dine at Mattacena and enjoy a large selection of Italian fare.
  • Pack a picnic or take a stroll through the immense Parco Delle Casine.
  • Cheap, delicious and incredibly filling, there’s nothing not to love about the food at Trattoria Da Giorgio.
  • View Italian works of art from the 20th and 21st centuries at the Museo Novecento.

Where to Stay in Santa Maria Novella

Best Budget Hotel in Santa Maria Novella – Room Mate Luca

Room Mate Luca

Room Mate Luca is the best budget hotel in Santa Maria Novella

Fun and funky, the Room Mate Luca is one of the cutest hotels in Florence. It has colourful décor, comfortable beds, and spacious guest rooms.

The hotel is also perfect for families as it’s close to restaurants, tourist attractions, and offers babysitting/childminding services. A delicious breakfast buffet is also available.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Santa Maria Novella – Glance Hotel In Florence

Glance Hotel In Florence

Glance Hotel In Florence is the best mid-range hotel in Santa Maria Novella

This four-star hotel is the perfect base for families in Santa Maria Novella. It has an outdoor heated pool, a terrace and a coffee bar, and a friendly and helpful staff.

A short walk from Florence’s most famous landmarks, this hotel is surrounded by restaurants, cafes, museums and shops. Breakfast is also available each morning.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Santa Maria Novella – Palazzo Vecchietti – Residenza D’Epoca

Palazzo Vecchietti – Residenza D’Epoca

Palazzo Vecchietti – Residenza D’Epoca is the best luxury hotel in Santa Maria Novella

Palazzo Vecchietti – Residenza D’Epoca is an elegant and stylish four-star hotel – and our top pick for where to stay in Santa Maria. It has a relaxing Turkish steam bath and rejuvenating massage services. Each room is outfitted with a small kitchen, comfortable beds, and air conditioning and heating.

 

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Florence

Florence is a fantastic city that excites all of its visitors. Whether you’re a history buff, a culture vulture, a fashionista or a foodie with fantastic taste, there’s something for everyone in Florence.

To recap; our favourite neighbourhood in Florence is Duomo. Located at the heart of the city, this neighbourhood is perfect for first-time visitors, architecture aficionados, and everyone in between. It’s where you’ll find the city’s most iconic sights as well as a great variety of authentic and affordable Italian restaurants.

Our favourite hotel is the Horto Convento thanks to its modern décor, spacious interiors and its convenient location. It’s where you can enjoy four-star luxury without the price tag right in the heart of the city.

Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below. Have a safe and fabulous time in Florence. Andiamo!

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